ONSA Scam: Dasuki Absent in Court, Trial Adjourns to March 22


Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, has adjourned further hearing in a 19-count charge of criminal diversion of $2.1billion involving former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others, to March 22, 2018.
Others are Attahiru Bafarawa, a former governor of Sokoto State; his son, Sagir Bafarawa; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu; a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda as well as Sagir’s firm, Dalhatu Investment.
The defendants were alleged to have conspired to divert the said money which was part of funds earmarked for purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.
At the resumed sitting today, counsel to the EFCC, Henry Ejiga told the court that the case was slated for hearing and expressed the readiness of the prosecution to go on.
However, Adeola Adedipe, counsel representing Dasuki, apologized for the absence of the former NSA and informed the court of a pending application at the Supreme Court of which judgment is reserved for March 2, 2018.
He urged the court to adjourn to a date after the Supreme Court’s judgment.
Other counsel in the matter aligned with his submission.
It would be recalled that Dasuki’s co-defendants had sought to be separately tried to ensure speedy trial.
But, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, in a counter argument objected the application. He noted that Bafarawa, his son and their family company, Dalhatu Investment Limited, were properly joined with Dasuki, Bashiru Yuguda and Shuaibu Salisu for their joint roles in the diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.
While urging the court to discountenance the application, Jacobs stressed that Dalhatu Investment owned by Bafarawa and his son was the receiver of the alleged stolen funds.
Justice Baba-Yusuf, in his ruling on October 19, 2017 refused the application, while relying on ACJA, 2015.
Dissatisfied, the defendants approached the Court of Appeal urging it to order the trial court to separate the case. The appeal also failed to succeed prompting further appeal to the Supreme Court, which judgment is reserved.
The court, in the circumstance adjourned.

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